Since long time, my wife used a blank monthly calendar for planning our meals. She is expert with Excel, So, I decided to create a simple weekly meal planner application that would allow to select from a list of meals and side dishes, and it got a thumbs up review. So I went forward and created a monthly version as well as a selection of printable weekly meal planner and menu planners can download.
7 day meal plans
The weekly meal planner makes it easy to create and print your weekly meal plan. The workbook includes all three layouts . Above are separate worksheet tabs. In addition to listing meals, these planners include a place to list groceries and other notes in template.
Easily select meals from Excel drop down lists! For each dish, side dish, breakfast, and lunch entry, you can select an item from a drop-down list within the cell.
Using the Meal Planning Templates
Both the weekly and monthly templates allow you to edit the lists of main dishes and side dishes. The weekly version also includes lists for breakfast and lunch.
Except for the version with the grocery list meal board, you can make copies of the worksheet. This will let you store multiple weekly or monthly meal plans within the same file.
I designed this list to be as easy to edit. You can delete and remove rows, sort them, and do much whatever you want as long as you don’t delete cell A1. Doing this will mess up the formula used to create the dynamic named range which populates the drop-down lists.
Meal Planning Tips
My wife has provided the following tips meal planning tips, including ideas for how to use the meal and menu planners.
- Make a list of everything you like to cook or every bit of things you have eaten in the last month. This will give you a start on your list of meals and you can add it when you find new things. The planner gives you a starter list that you can add or amend to fit your needs.
- Your meal real plan can be reused from month to month or from week to week. You can make three months worth of meal planners and then rotate them throughout the year. Or, at the end of each month or week, file the planner until the next year. Then, you can bring it out a year later and have something to work from. I like this method, because then I can incorporate seasonal foods and my menus.
- Plan to use left-overs. You can vary the sides or the appearance of food, but left-overs save time and money.
- Add recipes that you want to try into your planner. I am constantly finding new recipes, but if I don’t put them on my meal plan, I never make them.
- Put your menu plan where you will see it. Save it on your desktop put it on the fridge or the inside of a cupboard.
- Be flexible. The purpose of this meal plan is to make the dinner decision time less agonizing and to help you with your grocery shopping.
- Create a recipe file. When you create your meal planner, spend some time collecting the recipes or write down the page numbers. That way you don’t have to spend all of your preparation time searching for that fabulous recipe.
- Involve your family. Ask suggestions from your family for meals they want to eat for the month. There may be fewer complaints if they know they had a say in a few of the meals.